NUJP takes stronger stand against sexual harassment in media

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines has resolved to condemn sexual harassment in the workplace and to establish and activate mechanisms for its prevention, for reporting and redress, as well as for legal, physical, and psychosocial support for victims.

At its 12th National Congress in Quezon City over the weekend, the press freedom and media workers’ welfare group said media organizations need to establish comprehensive policies and mechanisms to protect staff from sexual harassment.

While there are laws against sexual harassment and that are meant to create safe spaces in the workplace and outside of it, some newsrooms may not have adequate resources to create policies against sexual harassment or to put up mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and workplace safety guidelines.

There is also a need to change the culture in some newsrooms and in the industry in general to foster respect and equality for women journalists.

Noting that sexual harassment is illegal, creates a hostile work environment, hinders journalists’ ability to do their jobs, NUJP has resolved to reactivate its Commission on Women Journalists to oversee implementation of the resolution.

“Incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace in the media industry are underreported, if not unreported, due to the fear of reprisal, isolation, job loss, and of being perceived as weak or unfit for the profession, and because of the assumption that the offender will go unpunished,” the resolution, which was adopted unanimously, reads.

The resolution tasks the Commission on Women Journalists and NUJP as a whole to:

  1. Establish clear and comprehensive policies that define sexual harassment, identify accessible and trusted channels for reporting, and ensure confidentiality and protection from retaliation
  2. Conduct and education campaign to help recognize, prevent, and address sexual harassment, and to promote a culture of respect and equality in the profession
  3. Ensure victims receive appropriate support, including counseling, legal assistance and logistical support for their protection

Although the initiative will be led by NUJP’s women journalists, the union recognizes that sexual harassment can happen regardless of one’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression and Identity and will extend support to all victims.